Manchester United considering move for Lisandro Martinez
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is considering a move for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, reports The Telegraph.
The option of first moving to sign Martinez was first reported by The Times last month, and now the plans could be accelerating.
A move for Martinez would be instead of a transfer for Jurrien Timber. Martinez recently won Ajax’s player of the season award, with centre-back partner Timber winning ‘talent of the year’.
The Telegraph reports Martinez would cost £25 million, making him a potential bargain addition to United’s backline.
Manchester United eye Lisandro Martinez
Martinez, 24, has been at Ajax since 2019. The Dutch club bought him from Argentine side Defensa y Justicia, and he has gone onto become a key player for the club.
The centre-back has played 74 games for Ajax in three seasons, and has gone onto represent Argentina at international level, where he is expected to be part of the World Cup squad.
The Telegraph report Ten Hag views Martinez as being one of the keys to his Ajax success, with the defender signed as a replacement for Matthijs de Ligt, who was sold to Juventus in 2019.
Ajax may be more receptive to letting Martinez go than Jurrien Timber, who at 20, came through as an academy player.
The Dutch club face a real battle to keep their Eredivisie title winning squad together, with Daley Blind admitting Antony could leave the club this summer, amid claims from UOL Esporte that United are pushing to try and sign him.
A move for Martinez over Timber could be a preferable option due to his age. There is a chance that a switch to the Premier League could be too much too soon for the younger Dutch defender.
Ten Hag last week told Voetbal International that he expected Ajax to sell two or three stars this summer, although did not specify who.
United have been linked with half the Ajax squad, somewhat predictably, and the possibility to move for Martinez is one route the club could go down.
The Red Devils need to fix an under-performing defence which has seen United concede the highest number of league goals in a season since 1978/79, with one game still remaining.